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Can Amtrak Directly Serve San Francisco?

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As opposed to the CZ to Emeryville and the CS to Emeryville/Oakland. It isn't practical for either of these routes to serve the city. I'm thinking some sort of service between San Fran and San Jose on the Caltrain route. This train would have to terminate northbound in San Fran but could go all the way south to LAX (maybe even San Diego?)

 

This is the old Southern Pacific's Lark train (the overnight I always wanted): http://www.american-rails.com/lark.html

 

The Daylight also served the same route but during the daytime http://www.american-rails.com/daylight.html

 

Does 3rd and Townsend Street Station still exist (under a different name?)

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My understanding is that Caltrain is planning to convert to high level platforms (assuming electrification and EMU purchase happens) which somewhat complicates the idea of running intercity trains from Caltrain territory to points south.

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My understanding is that Caltrain is planning to convert to high level platforms (assuming electrification and EMU purchase happens) which somewhat complicates the idea of running intercity trains from Caltrain territory to points south.

Nothing prevent single level equipment being used for the specific service that serves a high level platform area. Caltarns has already used such equipment at various places and times on the systems that it funds.

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San Francisco to LA is one of the Coast Daylight options on the table. There doesn't seem to be any effort to move it along, though. They're just churning out studies and raising objections.

 

I'd be fine with it if they just terminated it in San Jose, with timed connections to Caltrain and the Capitol Corridor.

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San Francisco to LA is one of the Coast Daylight options on the table. There doesn't seem to be any effort to move it along, though. They're just churning out studies and raising objections.

 

I'd be fine with it if they just terminated it in San Jose, with timed connections to Caltrain and the Capitol Corridor.

My understanding is that California needs more cars first...

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As opposed to the CZ to Emeryville and the CS to Emeryville/Oakland.

If they'd built the Second Transbay Tunnel as was originally proposed for CAHSR...

 

I complain about this periodically. In the studies, the Second Transbay Tunnel scored best on all measurements and was then rejected for political "sticker shock" reasons.

 

 

Likewise, in NYC, Alternative G (connecting tunnels from GCT Lower to Penn Station) scored best on all measurements and was then rejected for political "real estate is expensive" reasons.

 

The bad sort of political interference.

Edited by neroden

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San Francisco to LA is one of the Coast Daylight options on the table. There doesn't seem to be any effort to move it along, though. They're just churning out studies and raising objections.

 

I'd be fine with it if they just terminated it in San Jose, with timed connections to Caltrain and the Capitol Corridor.

My understanding is that California needs more cars first...

 

 

That's a good example of the objections that keep coming up -- everyone comes to the table with problems, not solutions. It's been the same way with the Capitol Corridor extension to Salinas.

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"Need more cars" is a solution, not a problem. Quick, can you explain the solution from that description? I knew you could. ("Get more cars")

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No, "need more cars" is a problem. And yes, "get more cars" is the solution. But when it's posed as "I need you to get me more cars" or, more generically, "I need someone else to solve my problem before anything else happens", then it's an obstacle.

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Ignoring the lack of equipment problem ( how we wish it was that simple ) San Diego <> downtown San Francisco is doable.

 

San Diego is somewhat a problem due to lack of parking space at late night, Forgotten just what the situation is now and what it will be once LOSSAN gets all the train cars it needs for present and future planned trains. Some one who fans there give us a thumbnail,

 

Now San Francisco would appear to be able to overnight a train since most commuter trains are at the other ends of the route. Question is --- does CalTrain service any trains overnight and could they take on plain servicing at the present 4th St terminal. Looking down the road will there be lay over space at a completed Transbay station ?

 

Looking at BART rider ships and projected loads in the future another 2 tunnel bores for it and 2 bores for Capitol corridor also seems to be important and needed. For Bart another 2 track line thru Frisco seems needed as well and some way to spread out the conflicts that occur in Oakland.

 

EDIT Forgot the major problem of getting equipment serviced. Would suspect that best solution is terminate southbound at LAX and originate equipment there for departure from SAN.

Edited by west point

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Looking down the road will there be lay over space at a completed Transbay station ?

 

Looking at BART rider ships and projected loads in the future another 2 tunnel bores for it and 2 bores for Capitol corridor also seems to be important and needed. For Bart another 2 track line thru Frisco seems needed as well and some way to spread out the conflicts that occur in Oakland.

 

 

One, Transbay Terminal construction is currently on hold and nobody knows when, or even if, that extension will be built. Two, even if it gets built, it will be an underground 6-track 3-island platform stub end station with no space to park trains overnight.

 

There is also the minor problem that Transbay Terminal will allow electric engines only like NYP and the line down the coast to LA/SD is not going to be electrified until hell freezes over. Of course they can always do dual-mode locomotives like Empire Service, but that means buying more custom stock

 

Getting even ONE additional tube under the Bay is a daydream, expecting TWO of them will happen- one for BART and one for conventional rail is outright laughable. Maybe they should construct a new combined tube with dual-gauge (standard and Indian broad) tracks with dual power (third rail + catenary). A few corridor trains can squeeze in between BART trains. Also, pigs will fly.

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Looking down the road will there be lay over space at a completed Transbay station ?

 

Looking at BART rider ships and projected loads in the future another 2 tunnel bores for it and 2 bores for Capitol corridor also seems to be important and needed. For Bart another 2 track line thru Frisco seems needed as well and some way to spread out the conflicts that occur in Oakland.

One, Transbay Terminal construction is currently on hold and nobody knows when, or even if, that extension will be built. Two, even if it gets built, it will be an underground 6-track 3-island platform stub end station with no space to park trains overnight.

 

There is also the minor problem that Transbay Terminal will allow electric engines only like NYP and the line down the coast to LA/SD is not going to be electrified until hell freezes over. Of course they can always do dual-mode locomotives like Empire Service, but that means buying more custom stock

 

Getting even ONE additional tube under the Bay is a daydream, expecting TWO of them will happen- one for BART and one for conventional rail is outright laughable. Maybe they should construct a new combined tube with dual-gauge (standard and Indian broad) tracks with dual power (third rail + catenary). A few corridor trains can squeeze in between BART trains. Also, pigs will fly.

 

But King Street is not going to be abolished totally, is it? Even when Transbay is complete and running.

 

So Amtrak could terminate any future intercity service there.

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Only if the track layout permits efficient handling f terminating trains there without interfering in the operations of Caltrain and HSR. I don't know if they are planning to include such facilities there, but it won;t happen unless such is planned.

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Only if the track layout permits efficient handling f terminating trains there without interfering in the operations of Caltrain and HSR. I don't know if they are planning to include such facilities there, but it won;t happen unless such is planned.

I'm guessing such a train would have to be pre-HSR. I can't imagine a conventional intercity train competing with HSR once the latter is fully built.

 

So quite possibly, if it can get on its feet at all, it would also be pre Transbay.

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I was merely responding to:

 

 


But King Street is not going to be abolished totally, is it? Even when Transbay is complete and running.

So Amtrak could terminate any future intercity service there.

which appears to be talking about a situation where there is already a TransBay terminal. I agree, if that is not the case then the issue is much less critical, but still there has to be some way to turn the train and stable it at 3rd and King or somewhere else (Maybe drag it back to Santa Clara to turn it and store it at San Jose/Santa Clara area, or some such.), or run it with a loco at each end with full train lining.

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Part of the plan, as the HSR people tell it, is to expand coast route service south of Gilroy, in order to connect to the HSR there. They've been hazy on the details – go figure – but it tracks with complementary morning/afternoon, Cap Corridor/Coast Daylight service. But yeah, there won't be much reason to run up the Peninsula after that.

 

Of course, we're talking decades from now ^_^ .

 

 

 

Only if the track layout permits efficient handling f terminating trains there without interfering in the operations of Caltrain and HSR. I don't know if they are planning to include such facilities there, but it won;t happen unless such is planned.


I'm guessing such a train would have to be pre-HSR. I can't imagine a conventional intercity train competing with HSR once the latter is fully built.

So quite possibly, if it can get on its feet at all, it would also be pre Transbay.

 

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Looking down the road will there be lay over space at a completed Transbay station ?

 

Looking at BART rider ships and projected loads in the future another 2 tunnel bores for it and 2 bores for Capitol corridor also seems to be important and needed. For Bart another 2 track line thru Frisco seems needed as well and some way to spread out the conflicts that occur in Oakland.

One, Transbay Terminal construction is currently on hold and nobody knows when, or even if, that extension will be built. Two, even if it gets built, it will be an underground 6-track 3-island platform stub end station with no space to park trains overnight.

 

There is also the minor problem that Transbay Terminal will allow electric engines only like NYP and the line down the coast to LA/SD is not going to be electrified until hell freezes over. Of course they can always do dual-mode locomotives like Empire Service, but that means buying more custom stock

 

Getting even ONE additional tube under the Bay is a daydream, expecting TWO of them will happen- one for BART and one for conventional rail is outright laughable. Maybe they should construct a new combined tube with dual-gauge (standard and Indian broad) tracks with dual power (third rail + catenary). A few corridor trains can squeeze in between BART trains. Also, pigs will fly.

 

BART's incompatible Indian broad gauge does not need and should not get a second tube. Any second tube should be standard gauge. This was figured out a long, long time ago. BART is basically a money pit: pay 5 times as much as you would for a standard-gauge train and get less. Run electrified high-frequency Caltrain through the second tube, you get more benefits than running BART through it.

 

(Actually, BART should be standard-gauged, but nobody wants to shut it down long enough to do so.)

Edited by neroden

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For information on the current status, the multiple studies, and challenges in restoring the Coast Daylight (CD) service, check the meetings and agenda documents for the Coast Rail Coordinating Council. Lots of stuff in there for anyone who wants to dive in.

 

A skim read of the meeting documents shows that one of the challenges in starting the CD is with the formation of Joint Power Authorities for the LOSSAN and Capitol Corridors. The LOSSAN JPA has no authority to run north of San Luis Obispo, so getting the various players in the LOSSAN agencies to agree to a CD train is an problem.

 

In the April 7, 2017 meeting minutes, there is a copy of a letter from the council to Amtrak advocating that the northbound Coast Starlight depart LA 3 hours earlier at 7:10 AM. I think the council is oblivious to the LD train connections and local scheduling issues for the CS.

 

Anyway, a skim read through the last several meeting agenda and documents indicates to me that the CD is a looonng way from starting up. CalTrans reallocated $25 million that had designated for improvements to the corridor, the council has to work to keep the CD in the 2018 state rail plan, etc. That is not even getting into the availability of rolling stock issue with the apparent failure of the Nippon-Sharyo bi-level contract.

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I think the council is more concerned with Amtrak's basic mission, which is to provide transportation service. Scheduling the CS to maximise its utility to people using it to travel from point A to point B along its route is more important to them (and me, FWIW) than maximising its convenience as a land cruise.

 

In the April 7, 2017 meeting minutes, there is a copy of a letter from the council to Amtrak advocating that the northbound Coast Starlight depart LA 3 hours earlier at 7:10 AM. I think the council is oblivious to the LD train connections and local scheduling issues for the CS.

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BART's incompatible Indian broad gauge does not need and should not get a second tube. Any second tube should be standard gauge. This was figured out a long, long time ago. BART is basically a money pit: pay 5 times as much as you would for a standard-gauge train and get less. Run electrified high-frequency Caltrain through the second tube, you get more benefits than running BART through it.

 

(Actually, BART should be standard-gauged, but nobody wants to shut it down long enough to do so.)

Your suggested plan is so ridiculous and impractical that I can't even think where to start. Anyway...

 

BART has invested in purchasing 1,081 new train cars to serve for the next 30 years. If BART is a money pit, abandoning all of that in favor of standard gauge trains is NOT a money pit?

 

Let's assume somehow one builds a standard gauge transbay tube and run electrified Caltrain through it, but then what? There is ZERO miles of electrified tracks in the east bay, so where does this hypothetical electrified Caltrain go after it comes out of the tube? Build an entire new network of electrified standard gauge tracks in East Bay? That will NOT be a money pit somehow?

 

What benefit would you even get out of it if somehow you managed to find real estate to construct new standard gauge electrified lines parallel to BART routes? If you suggest that BART itself should be made standard gauge, do you realize BART cars are single level and tunnels all over its network are built to that height? So how do you run double-deck electrified Caltrain over it without rebuilding everything? That will NOT be a money pit?

 

You know why does nobody want to shut down BART long enough to convert it to standard gauge? Because four hundred and fifty thousand commuters rely on BART every single day to get to work. What are all of them supposed to do for years while rebuilding happens?

 

Seriously... think a bit before coming up with ridiculous couch-expert ideas.

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In and of itself, a main line tunnel from San Francisco under the bay isn't a bad idea, it could create a regional rail network beyond BART. In other words, electrify service to Sacramento and maybe even connect into the Marin commuter line. Obviously, $$$, but not such a crazy idea.

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BART's incompatible Indian broad gauge does not need and should not get a second tube. Any second tube should be standard gauge.

 

 

Solution: 3-rail dual gauge?

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Of course I know BART is too busy to shut down.

 

But it really is a money pit. I wasn't kidding when I said that everything on BART cost *FIVE TIMES* as much as it would if it were a normal standard-gauge subway; that's from actual recent projects. And the complete blithering idiot aircraft engineers who designed it originally used CYLINDRICAL WHEELS -- they literally reinvented the wheel, and they did it incompetently. They are only just fixing this ERROR, and installing conical wheels, this year.

 

If you're building a new tube, build it standard gauge. Hook it to Caltrain. Design it as a superexpress. Underground station stops in San Francisco, West Oakland, MacArthur, possibly Ashby, and continue straight underground to Martinez, allowing the Capitol Corridor to run through to San Francisco and speeding it up a lot. Perhaps go via Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill if it's easy enough construction.

If you can manage to do the construction, build an underground wye and hook the second branch to the UP line east of the bay (which BART parallels at enormous expense). Again, run superexpress.

 

Because practically any rail project is 1/5 the cost of a BART project, this would cost less than the latest BART extension plans.

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